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a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#allwrite2013: reflection (part one of many)


It takes a lot of slow to grow.
from “A Lazy Thought” by Eve Merriam

I first heard this line of poetry from Ruth Ayres.  Since then, I have been intentional about carrying its message in my heart.  I rested its message over the top of the layers of my life.  Every now and then, a different layer surfaced and the  s l o w  was temporarily forgotten—even during the summer months, when the pace of the school year eases its grip on me. 

It wasn’t until I arrived at dinner Wednesday night, before the All-Write Summer Institute that my understanding of these poetic words shifted.  No longer, was  s l o w i n g  down an idea I carried with me.  All of sudden, taking a lot of  s  l  o  w  to grow became a sentiment I felt.  I was living it. 

From the moment I walked into the restaurant and stepped into a greeting hug from Mary Helen, I felt present in a way I haven’t felt for a long time.  I knew I was with my people. 

Dinner was just the beginning of three days of  s l o w  growth.  I can say  s l o w  growth here, even though the time was much too short, because when you are truly present in a moment, it lasts longer, more of the essence of the moment has a chance to seep deeply into your bones.

Even though my exit was suddenly closed for construction Thursday morning causing me to start out the day 15 minutes behind, even though the fire alarm went off causing us to evacuate a mere half hour into Carl Anderson’s keynote address, even though I sat down on an auditorium seat that had flipped upright without me realizing causing me to fall flat on my behind, even though all of these things could have left a girl feeling flustered, instead I felt at ease. 

There is something about being surrounded by people to whom I’ve revealed my inner thoughts—people from whom I’ve received encouragement and inspiration—that calms a person.  There is something about being in the presence of wise women like these that comforts a person.  There is something about the Two Writing Teachers community that sustains a person. 
a few of my people: Deb, me, Nanc, elsie, Ruth, Linda, and Bonnie

11 comments:

  1. I've been enjoying the posts about All-Write from Ruth, Ramona, and others, and I'm glad you had time to begin your reflection as well. I've been looking forward to hearing about your time there with my fingers crossed, hoping it would be exactly the retreat tht you needed. It sounds like it was that and so much more! I'm so pleased to see your obvious pleasure, and looking forward to hearing more.

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  2. It shouldn't surprise you that A Lazy Thought is one of my favorite poems--I have it in my writer's notebook and read it frequently. I need to remind myself to stay in the present and take the time. Can't wait to read more from you about All Write, because I know there is more you need to share!

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  3. This must have been THE conference of the year!

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  4. Lovely to read your words, Christy. I think you are the icing on our celebratory cake of reflection. I enjoyed being with you so much, & it was all too brief, but then satisfying too. Thanks Christy!

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  5. The reflections from All Write have been fun to read -- what's more is that there were some sprinkling of the take-aways, but there was even more about the power of connection and relationships that results in that calm, comfort, and sustainability. I love your reflection most of all. You've wrapped up the beauty of being present with colleagues, teachers, friends, our people that share your beliefs and philosophies of writing new beginnings for our students.

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  6. It has been so lovely to read the reflections of the AllWrite comference. This is a sustaining community so much so that I am encouraged by all you have shared and feel included in the experience! Very special!

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  7. As Linda said, this is the icing on the All-Write cake of celebration. So much joy, so much growth...such comfort (again, borrowing from Linda) in being together. As for me, I hope to make it next year!

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  8. Christy, look at the smiles on every face in the photo. It's clear these wise women are also happy women! I love these words from your post "...when you are truly present in a moment, it lasts longer, more of the essence of the moment has a chance to seep deeply into your bones." I look forward to soaking in the essence of many precious moments from All Write 2013. And now I'm off to locate Eve Merriam's poem - "A Lazy Thought". Any poem that comes recommended by Ruth, you, and Deb is a poem I want to read.

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  9. I LOVE your approach to the inspiration you take from the poem. I find it so hard to SLOW during a conference. I'm usually overwhelmed and racing. But I agree, with so many friends around me, I was moving and thinking SLOW...
    I loved reading your reflection Christy. So glad we got to spend time together.

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  10. Christy, what a perfect reflection! Time did move slow when we were together, but yet it passed too quickly too. We came from all parts of the country, we were all different ages, we teach/taught different grade levels, but yet we had the powerful bond of sharing our words. These are among the best moments of my life, I'm glad you were a part of them.
    BTW, how's the writing going? :-)

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  11. Christy, good to see you again. I didn't feel there was time enough for me. I need to go the next day. Thanks for the Ruth Fan Club favor. Back in the day, parties usually had a meaningful favor for everyone to take home to remember the event by. You are a very thoughtful person. Yes, we are all part of Ruth's Fan Club! She brought us all together once again. I need to blog more!!!!

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